Ask Urban Scout #10
I can’t help but get the feeling that you are advocating for all 6 billion people to go back to living as hunter-gatherers. Wouldn’t that quickly deplete all of the wild food out there? Wouldn’t all 6 billion of us quickly eat up the wild? How many salmon are left? If all of us started eating salmon exclusively, they would go extinct that much faster. What do you think about this?
I get this question quite often and my answer is yes, I think that all 6 billion of us should immediately stop farming and start hunting/gathering/gardening for our food. Hunter-gatherers didn’t just kill things and eat them without any foresight the way modern “sport” hunters do. They had complex systems of land management that built soil and created mosaics of habitat, maximizing biodiversity for small areas. This is why I say over and over again that you can’t just throw on some buckskin clothes, grab a bow and arrow and think you’re a hunter-gatherer. The tools are meaningless without the system that created them. Civilized people wore buckskin and hunted with bows and arrows for thousands of years. The management system of hunting and gathering is the real technology. Not the hand-made artifacts they leave behind, but the ecological artifacts like salmon runs so thick you couldn’t walk through the river.
Civilized people do not understand that hunting and gathering means giving back more than you take. If everyone were to start giving back more than they take, we’d actually begin to build biodiversity and wild food sources back up. Sure, the dams have killed the salmon, and if all of us became hunter-gatherers that means we would become stewards of the salmon which means we would dismantle the dams and build spawning habitats along the river banks.
If you have a burning question for Urban Scout, send him an e-mail at urbanscout [at] gmail [dot] com with the subject, “ask urban scout.”
Show your support and appreciation for Urban Scout